This collection consists of 229 black and white photographs. 8" x 10" photographs constitute the bulk of the collection, but a few 3 x 5 photographs are also included. The photographs in this collection span from 1943 to 1951 and document the plant operations, employees, visitors to the mills as well as projects of interest to U.S. Steel. Photographs of mills include the Ohio Works, McDonald, and Upper Union mills.
United States Steel (U.S. Steel) was formed in 1901 by financier John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan. The corporation was capitalized at $1.4 billion and was comprised of 8 major companies including American Tin Plate Company, American Steel and Wire Company, National Tube Company, American Steel Sheet Company, Carnegie Company, Federal Steel Company and National Steel Company.
U.S. Steel's Ohio Works was originally the Ohio Steel Company, founded in 1892. National Steel Company bought the plant a few years later. National Steel became part of U.S. Steel and the Youngstown plant was made part of the Carnegie-Illinois Steel division. The plant was renamed the Ohio Works in 1950.
The Upper Union Mills have also changed hands numerous times. The mill was consolidated with Youngstown Iron company and run as the Union Iron & Steel Company in 1892. In 1899 the Lower Union and Upper Union Mills were sold to National Steel Company, and operated under name of American Steel Hoop Company. These were later sold to Carnegie Steel Company which became a subsidiary of U.S. Steel.
The McDonald mills were constructed during World War I. The town of McDonald was constructed at the same time as the plant, in order to house the workers and their families. For much of its history, U.S. Steel was the leading steel manufacturer in the world yet the Ohio Works and McDonald Mills were closed in 1980 due to financial difficulties. Efforts were made to reopen the mills as worker-owned facilities which led to a lawsuit in an effort to stop demolition of the plant. The case was lost and the Ohio Works were razed soon afterwards. A new company called McDonald Steel reopened part of the McDonald Mills, making specialty steel shapes for bridges and truck tire rims. In 1986 U.S. Steel reorganized and renamed USX Corporation. Steel production now comprises about 25% of its operations.
The collection was donated to the Ohio Historical Society by William Kirwan (the general superintendent of U.S. Steel, Youngstown District) in 1980. The collection was transferred to Columbus and housed at the Ohio Historical Center until 1995. In October 1995 the collection was transferred back to the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor Archives/Library. Final processing was completed in February 1996 by Laurie Gemmill. The collection includes typed labels attached to the backs of the photographs. The labels are numbered, these numbers correspond to the typed inventory which has been retained and housed with the collection. The collection originally included 12 books and an article which were separated from this collection and are now part of the library's collection.
The Ohio Historical Society owns the property rights of the collection. What rights the donor possessed have been dedicated to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher. This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio Historical Society. Researchers are requested to cite the collection name, collection number, the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, and the Ohio Historical Society in all footnotes and bibliographic references. Laurie Gemmill, February 1996.
World War II
Numbers marked with asterisks refer to original numbering on photographs, which corresponds to earlier inventory. This earlier inventory includes more detailed descriptions, a copy of which is available in the first folder of the collection.
SERIES 1 - HOPEWELL BLAST FURNACE
3 (8 x 10) photographs of the Hopewell blast furnace in Struthers, n.d.
SERIES 2 - COHASSET DAM
1 (8 x 10) photograph of the Cohasset Dam and Lake, 1951
SERIES 3 - OHIO WORKS
*5-19 (#7 missing)
14 (8 x 10) photographs including photographs of the Ohio Works charging machine, slagging open hearth, and unidentified workers who are transferring molten steel from ladle and working with machinery, c1916, 1951.
14 (8 x 10) photographs including Ohio Works exterior shots, different angles of blast furnaces, the power house, and the Bessemer mixer building, 1951.
3 (8 x 10) photographs showing workers cooling slabs, operating valve for air pressure, and pouring test molds, c1944.
8 (8 x 10) photographs including views of the blast furnace, open hearth, power house, yard locomotive, blooming mill, c1944.
(One photograph damaged, corner has holes)
2 (8 x 10) photographs from 1948 documenting the Ohio Works as slag runs from furnace through trough into a transfer ladle,1948.
6 (3 x 5) photographs showing processes, charging Bessemer converter, charging on open hearth, n.d.
10 (8x10) photographs including exterior shots, blooming mill, Bessemer converter blowing, and one photograph of the east side of exterior of McDonald, c1948.
SERIES 4 - MCDONALD
25 (8 x 10) photographs primarily documenting the slag dump. This series includes photographs of pouring molten slag, unloading slag, dumping slag, loading slag, and emptying slag, 1948.
SERIES 5 - PORTRAITS
8 (8 x 10), 1 (4 x7 torn) photographs of portraits of McDonald and Ohio Works employees, c1944.
SERIES 6 - World War II AT HOME
10 (8x 10) photographs showing a war bond rally at McDonald mills, the memorial listing those from the Youngstown district killed in World War II, and a war bond loan barometer, c1944-45.
SERIES 7 - WORKERS RECEIVING HONORS
5 (8 x 10) group photographs of workers receiving honors, possibly pensions, n.d.
SERIES 8 - UPPER UNION MILLS
8 (8 x10 ) photographs including exterior shots of the Upper Union Mills, and unidentified workers, c1945-1948.
SERIES 9 - 1946 OHIO WORKS-MCDONALD-UPPER UNION MILLS TOUR
11 (8 x 10) photographs, pamphlet "Open House Day, Wednesday October 30, 1946 Ohio Steel Works." Photographs include visitors outside of buildings, entering flatbed railroad cars, and visitors standing in front of a fly wheel, 1946.
13 (8 x 10) photographs including plant security guards, a guide with visitors, the welcome sign, visitors watching transfer of molten iron, and visitors in 140 ton open hearth pit ladle, 1946.
20 (8 x 10) photographs of visitors in an open area, watching a slab being sheared, viewing samples of products, boarding buses, safety display, and touring outside,
24 (8 x 10) photographs including the notice of open house day, the McDonald main gate, samples of products, and visitors watching workers, 1946.
5 (8 x 10) photographs of visitors outside the McDonald main gate, 1946.
SERIES 10 - 1950 OHIO WORKS-MCDONALD VISITORS TOUR SERIES
8 (8 x 10) photographs of the 1950 tour series including group shots of visitors, at a banquet, touring, at heating furnace. The photographs are taken at the Ohio Works and McDonald, 1950.
SERIES 11 - BLAST FURNACE LIGHTING CEREMONIES
4 (8 x 10) photographs from 1950 showing a worker and girl lighting the blast furnace, the ceremonies. The photographs include Lawrence Dahl, General Superintendent of Youngstown District, c1950.
SERIES 12 - STAMBAUGH AUDITORIUM
2 (8 x 10) photographs showing exterior views of the east side of Stambaugh Auditorium,
SERIES 13 - U.S. STEEL PICNIC
11 (8 x 10) photographs including the Youngstown train terminal, the picnic organizing committee, and people dancing, n.d.